Revisiting Butler Street a worthwhile endeavor

Thanks to Mayor Schlicher for his city-wide push to improve all neighborhoods – helping citizens right where they live by targeting blight, broken sidewalks, overgrown trees, faded traffic markings, unsightly hydrants, junk collection, etc.

Beyond the triage of neighborhoods, there is another situation – with long range implications – that affects all taxpaying citizens in Marietta: i.e., the size of the tax base that city spending is drawn from. Other things being equal, the more taxpayers there are, the less each taxpayer will need to pay; and the higher the level of retail business activity in Marietta, the more taxes will be paid to the city.

If there is a large employer whose many employees pay city income tax, and if that employer also brings hundreds of people to live and shop in our community for 8 months every year – then it is vital to taxpaying citizens throughout Marietta that that employer continue to thrive and grow.

Marietta College is a non-profit institution that plays a vital role in Marietta’s tax base. The college is selling a quality product, but to an ever-shrinking demographic of high school seniors. Higher education has become increasingly competitive. So if there is anything the mayor and council can do – in a zero-cost to city way – to help Marietta College sustain and grow its present level of enrollment, the entire city would benefit.

Specifically, I ask that the closing of Butler Street be reexamined to see if there is now a way, Win-Win, to cede that property to the college to make the campus safer, more cohesive, and more attractive to prospective students and their parents. Evaluated on a city-wide basis, the pros certainly would outweigh the cons.

Without Marietta College, Marietta would be just another river town. That does not mean we give them the key to the city; but certainly work with them as a major asset, helping keep taxes lower and making Marietta a much nicer place to live.

Joe and Patty Yazombek



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